High schooler bags two trophies

Dan Kibler

October 21, 2010 at 8:23 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Blake Sealey had the hunt of a lifetime Oct. 17 when he bagged not one but two trophy bucks.
Blake Sealey had the hunt of a lifetime Oct. 17 when he bagged not one but two trophy bucks.
Deer hunting is probably all downhill for Blake Sealey of Florence, but he knows it, and he’s fine with it – except for those taxidermy bills.

Sealey, a 15-year-old sophomore at South Florence High School, had a day in the woods to remember on Oct. 17. Heck, he had a whole hunting season to remember in five short minutes that morning on a 170-acre lease in Orangeburg County.

At around 8:15, Sealey dropped the hammer on a great 8-point buck, a 190-pound deer that has a chance to make South Carolina’s all-time record book. Five minutes later, he had another big 8-pointer on the ground, and a few minutes after that, he had a doe on the ground without squeezing the trigger a third time.

“I’ve had the hunt of my life already,” he admitted. “It just happened so quick. I was still shaking from the first buck when the second one walked out.”

And those two bucks came a week after he killed the first big buck of his hunting career, an 8-point, 145-pounder that was already headed to the taxidermist before the two bigger bucks fell.

“Blake shot his first deer when he was eight, and he’s killed some does and small bucks, but the last several years, he’s been focusing on shooting a buck big enough to mount,” said his father, Ray Sealey.

By the time Blake Sealey got to his stand – which overlooked three shooting lanes cut into a stand of trees behind an agricultural field and backing up to an oak ridge and a swamp – he was worried that the day was going to be a bust.

“When I walked into the woods, it was cold, real cold, and deer were just blowing all around me,” he said. “I figured I wasn’t going to have a good hunt. Then, halfway up into my stand (a quad-pod set 14 feet off the ground), I heard one grunting right under me. It was still dark, but I could tell he was a big buck. It was light enough for me to see he had a nice rack, but it wasn’t light enough to shoot.

“I stayed there for what seemed like a half-hour, and after he ran off, I finally climbed up in my stand.”

It didn’t take Sealey long to figure out that it was going to be a special day, that his worries were unfounded.

“Bucks and does were just running around everywhere,” he said. “I kept watching these two nice bucks running back and forth across the (lanes). But I was going to wait until one of them stopped. I figured if a doe stopped, one of them would stop.

“Finally, a little doe came out, and this big buck came out behind her, and he stopped, and I shot him and knocked him right down,” said Sealey, whose 80-yard shot with his Sako .30-06/Leopold Vari-X III was perfect. “I called my dad and told him I’d dropped the biggest buck I’d ever seen right in the road. He said, ‘Good job, just sit there ‘til we finish our hunt.’

“There was a little 8-pointer out there running around, and I sat my rifle down, and when I looked back up, this other monster stepped into the lane.”

Sealey’s shot, this one from 100 yards, was again nearly perfect. The buck hunched up, kicked its legs out and took off into the woods.

This time, the elder Sealey made the call. “He said, ‘I shot Claw; he came out at the other end of the lane,’” Ray Sealey said. “We had this buck on a trail cam – he had a crab claw on the end of one beam.”

Ray Sealey and his brother-in-law headed to Blake’s stand a little while later. When they got there, they saw the first big 8-pointer, a 190-pound trophy with a 17-inch inside spread with an estimated score in the mid-120s. Then, after a 40-yard tracking job, they found the second buck, a 160-pound buck with a similar spread but an extremely heavy rack that included a wide, palmated G-2 tine on its right beam. It may measure close to 120 inches.

And somehow or other, somebody stumbled onto a third blood trail. It led 20 yards back into the woods, where the Sealey’s found a graveyard-dead doe; Blake’s shot at the first big buck had obviously gone through it and then into the doe, killing her without him knowing she’d been hit.

“We had trail-cam photos of the one we called ‘Claw,’ but we’d never seen the other big buck, the first one I shot,” Blake Sealey said. “We thought Claw was the biggest buck on the property.”

Now, Blake Sealey is looking at a pretty good taxidermy bill. He’s trying to put together enough landscaping jobs to turn eight day of hunting into one tremendous trophy room. For more photos on the SouthCarolinaSportsman.com forum click here.

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